Once upon a time if you found yourself in some kind of medical pickle, an emergency worker could quickly evaluate your level of consciousness by asking you a series of simple questions:
For eg. What’s your name? What’s your date of birth? … Who is the Prime Minister of Australia?
Unfortunately our rapid turnover of political leaders is making things increasingly complicated for paramedics, some of whom have had to stop asking that particular question entirely.
Given that we’re now on our fourth leader in three years, it’s pretty understandable that not everyone knows who is in the top job and as one Queensland paramedic, Greg Abood, told the Courier Mail, “it’s no longer a good indication of [the patient’s] mental status.”
Apparently, a man once replied: “I haven’t watched the news today,” in answer to the question. Hilarious.
“I’ve resorted back to asking them what they had for their previous meal. It’s a much safer question,” Mr Abood said.
Not all are avoiding the question, which is, after all, just a way to gauge alertness.
A second, senior paramedic told the Daily Telegraph, he would sometimes just try to steer the patient towards the answer:
“I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the bloke with the big ears. It’s really a matter of working out whether they’re listening, looking at you and whether there’s a sense of awareness.”
There’s not likely to be another federal election until October next year, so if you do happen to hit your head, the answer is likely to be Malcolm Turnbull for a little while yet.